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  1. 1. 4/13/2012 FertilizationWhy Fertilize?• Replenish plant nutrients to sustain optimumgrowth and health of the plant.• Losses of nutrients occur through leaching,clipping removal, irrigation,rainfall, and volatilization• Essential nutrients for plant growth: C, H, O, P, K,N, S, Ca, Fe, Mg, B, Cl, Cu, Mn, Mo, and Zn.• Turfgrass requires nitrogen more than any othernutrientWay to Remember the Elements… ~Mnemonic Devices~ Macronutrients: C, H, O, P, K, N, S, Ca, Fe, Mg C HOPKNS CaFé ManagementMicronutrients: B, Mo, Cu, Cl, Mn, ZnB Mo Cu Cl Mn ZnBob’s Mom and Cousin Clio will manage soonTurfgrasses require 16(some now say 17)essential elements togrow and completetheir life cycleC, H, O from air andwaterRemaining 13-14 from 13-growing media 1
  2. 2. 4/13/2012•Most standard turf fertilizers contain N-P-Kand often minors such as Fe, Mg, Ca, etc.Before fertilizing you should have knowledgeof:• species requirement• air temperature• soil moisture• precipitation in forecast?• type of fertilizer being applied Importance of Nutrients to Turfgrass Growth and Development N P K Rooting X Shoot growth (tillers. X rhizomes, stolons) Leaf growth X Color X Establishment X (germination and seedlings) Hardiness drought X heat X cold X Disease susceptibility X Wear tolerance X X Recuperative potential X Composition of turf X X community 2
  3. 3. 4/13/2012 USGA Greens Record Sept./Oct 2003 Jim SkorulskiMany different types of Fertilizer- discussed here arethe more common types of fertilizers used in golfcourse management!Important characteristics or facts you need to knowwhen purchasing fertilizer:a) burn potentialb) release rates -water soluble or water insolublec) analysisd) safety of product i.e. NH4 NO3e) cost of productf) environmental concerns ( i.e. leaching)g) ease of handlingh) spreadability HIGHER SALT INDEX 3
  4. 4. 4/13/2012 Nitrogen Fertilizers:There are three types we will discuss:I) synthetic inorganicII) synthetic organicIIb) Coated synthetic organicsIII) natural organic• Nitrogen taken up in two forms: NH4+ or NO3-• NO3- mostly•Nitrification of ammonia to nitrites to nitratesNH4+ NO2 NO3- nitrosomas nitrobacterI) Synthetic inorganic (dont contain C) - Ingeneral characteristics of these fertilizersare: a) readily soluble in water b) available to plant almost immediately c) can cause growth flushes d) leach and or volatilize e) high burn potential f) are usually cheaper than coated or controlled release typesExamples of synthetic inorganics are: 1) Ammonium Nitrate NH4N03 - 33%N - handle with care-very explosive - high salt index 2) Ammonium sulfate NH4SO4 - 21% N - high salt index - used if careful - may be used to help lower pH 3) Potassium Nitrate KNO3 -13% K - 37%N -Product K power -good to use in fall for hardening off 4
  5. 5. 4/13/2012II) Synthetic organics- group contains both:i) water soluble and ii) water insoluble formsi) Urea- is the primary water soluble form. a) rapid response b) high burn potential c) high N 46% d) leaches easilyii) Water insoluble forms include: a) Urea formaldehyde b) IBDUa) Urea formaldehyde -38% N -very slow release rate - (long chain methlylene urea) -low burn potential -microbes to break it down -Allows high application rates -long lasting -reduces risk of leachingCons: -cost -3-4 weeks before color change (no initialresponse) 5
  6. 6. 4/13/2012b) IBDU -made by reacting urea with isobutyraldehyde -31% N -slow release rate -2-4 weeks delay in response -very expensive -microbes have minimal effect on release rate -soil moisture particle size, and temperatureinfluence release rate -be careful if excessive rainfall ie. JulyIIb) Coated synthetic organic fertilizers- providegood initial response compared to IBDU and UF •Two types - sulfur coated and polymer coated.Advantages coated materials:a) low burn potentialb) no surge-release rates gradualc) ease of handlingd) Minimal loss to leachinge) Long or timed duration of feedingg) Reduced labor due to reducing frequency ofapplicationsConsa) costb) mowers or traffic can break coatingTwo types: 1) Sulfur Coated Urea (SCU) -coating = wax prill -release rates dependent on: •soil temperature and water •coating thickness and size of prill -20-30% released in first 2 weeks 2) Polymer Coated Urea (http://harrells.com/focus/polyon/) -urea coated in polymers (plastic) -nutrients release by diffusion and need soil moisture -soil temperature effects release rates -warmer the temperatures the faster the release-be careful in summer -Poly-on or osmocote are examples! 6
  7. 7. 4/13/2012 SCU / PCU - formed by coating ureas granules with sulfur and a thin coating of sealant or polymers (wax, resins)III) Natural Organics-Derived from animal or plant a) animal manure b) bone meal c) sewage sludge d) dried blood e) plant refuse f) seaweed extractCharacteristics of organics a) slowly available N b) Usually a low N content i.e. 6% or less c) very safe non burning d) warm temperatures and microbes to break down e) cost > than syntheticsNote*- N in organics present in amine group (-NH2)it must be converted to NH4 before being taken upby plant called Ammonification:Also Nitrification=NH4------NO2-------NO3Many common granular organic products used on golf courses two are:1) Milorganite 6-2-0 Activated sewage sludge2) Sustane 5-2-4 composted turkey litter 7
  8. 8. 4/13/2012Claims of manufacturers and researchers:-organics not only increase nutrient levelsthey have also been shown to reduce:• disease activity of turfgrasses• thatch build up or increase decomposition• nitrate leaching(as with all slow releasematerials)• soil compaction (this based on addingorganic matter to soil) however not evident instudies of three years.Claims by manufacturers and some researchersregarding organics:a) reduced soil compactionb) reduced thatch build up or increasedecompositionc) reduced nitrate leachingd) reduce disease activity of turfgrasses Compost derived fertilizers Compost Urea Snow Mold Nitrogen or organic response? 8
  9. 9. 9 • deficiencies show up in older leaves growth • found in greatest quantities in new cell • mobile in plant • Component of many plant proteins P.S. • Involved in metabolic processes including Phosphorous: 0-05-02 etahpsohP mumuinommaiD )2 P %84-02 etapsohprepuS )1 :era secruos P nommoc owT Hp lios yb detceffa si P • li o s ni eli b o m t o n P li o s ni eli b o m t o n P li o s ni eli b o m t o n P • :stcaf surohpsohP :stcaf surohpsohP :stcaf surohpsohP :stcaf surohpsohP .tnempoleved rewolf dna dees ,tnemhsilbatse – P- .tnempoleved rewolf dna dees ,tnemhsilbatse – P- .tnempoleved rewolf dna dees ,tnemhsilbatse – P- .tnempoleved rewolf dna dees ,tnemhsilbatse – P- .smelborp detaler sserts dna snoitatsefni deew ,esaesid ot enorp frut tneicifed P- N sa citamard sa ton era suorohpsohp ni seicneicifeD- Phosphorous Fertilization weeks Release over many4/13/2012
  10. 10. 4/13/2012 Potassium FertilizationPotassium facts:• Needed in the plant second to Nitrogen• Leaches readily from sandy soils• Increase wear tolerance• Increase drought and heat tolerance• Increase cold tolerance• Increase disease tolerance :srez tref K tsom n desu secruos eerhT :srez tref K tsom n desu secruos eerhT :sreziiiilllliiiitref K tsom niiii desu secruos eerhT :srez tref K tsom n desu secruos eerhT 411 =.I.S O2K %06 hsatop fo etairum-lCK 26 4 = x e d nI t a S6 4 = x e d nI t a S64 = xednI tllllaS6 4 = x e d nI t a S O K %05 O2K %05 O K %05 O K %05 OSK 4OSK OSK OSK47 = xednI t aS47 = xednI tllllaS47 = xednI t aS47 = xednI t aS O2K %44 O2K %44 O2K %44 O2K %44 -3ONK -3ONK -3ONK -3ONK Silicon?Silicon the second most abundant mineral elementin soil after oxygen. Recent research with Si has shown: • Positive effect on relieving stress • Foliar spray potassium silicate reduced injury to wear • Improved turf growth, drought and heat resistance • Quality, Color, and Density increased • Disease suppression 10
  11. 11. 4/13/2012Silicon continued:Comments: • More research needs to be done before recommendations of Si can be made • Analytical tools utilized to exam soil and tissue nutrient levels for other nutrients are not readily available for Si. • If future studies indicate positive responses, improving plant performance, disease reduction… then Si could be a useful tool in IPM practices in turf.noitazilitreFneb nac srezilitref ylppa ot nehw dna etar eht gninimreteD:srotcaf fo yteirav a no tnedneped:srotcaf fo yteirav a no tnedneped:srotcaf fo yteirav a no tnedneped:srotcaf fo yteirav a no tnedneped• Species• Length of growing season-ie. Me. vs. N.J.• Level of quality desired.• Purpose turf used for (wear factors). i.e. tees v.s.fairways• Cultural practices- i.e. Irrigation and clippingcollection reduces nutrient reservoir in soilDetermining fertilizer rate continued:•Soil texture i.e sand• Time of year• Soil tests• Type and form of fertilizer- Slow release or fastrelease. (Slow release can be applied in greaterquantities while soluble should be applied in lesseramounts but more frequent)• Grade and SGN 11
  12. 12. 4/13/2012 Determining Rates and Reading the LabelComplete fertilizer contains N-P-K – called the grade or analysis Items found on the bag: • Percent N-P-K • Weight • Sources of N-P-K • Other nutrients present • % water soluble N • % water insoluble N • SGN (maybe) % P2O5 %N % K2O Grade Guaranteed Analysis – minimum percentage of nutrients which is displayed on the label 12
  13. 13. 4/13/201283% ofthetotal Ninsolubleform Calculations Mixed Blended SCU prill Urea prill OSK OSK OSK OSK 4Homogenous fertilizer–each granule contains allof the nutrients 13
  14. 14. 4/13/2012SGN = Size Guide Number = Basically prill sizeSGN determined by - the size below which 50%of theparticles occur multiplied by 10. for example if 50%fall below 1.9mm then SGN = 190Indicators that can be used to aid in determiningfertilizer timing:-color-amount of clippings removed-wear of turf areas-physiological growth characteristics of turfgrass*Fertilization should not be for color alone. Aknowledge of turfgrass growth is needed to figuretiming.Fertilization to build up carbohydrate levels andreserves is important in helping the turfgrass plantsurvive stresses* 14
  15. 15. 4/13/2012Fall Applications N - Promote root growth > carbos.Root growth cool season grass in fall and springFertilizing in September helps: a) maintain color for P.S. > in carbohydrates b) turf heal from summer stress.Dormant Fertilizing (after last mowing): a) Maintains color continues to produce carbos. b) Reduces or eliminates need for spring applications Early Spring applications –No Growth flush in spring occurs without fertilizing 15
  16. 16. 4/13/2012• Supplemental K fertilization will aid in hardeningoff turf before winter and helps “toughen” the plantin summer.• Supplemental Fe will provide color while notpushing growth (usually “short lived”) Fertilizer Applications Granular Applications Types of SeedersBroadcast- rotarytype. Pros•quick and easy Cons•wind carries seed /fertilizer•harder to getuniform coverage. 16
  17. 17. 4/13/2012Drop spreaders - Pros - good for small areaswith borders-applies precise application- Cons - slow and can lead to skips or over laps1) Granular materials are available in different sizesor grades: •Smaller grades are used on low cut turf this reduces mower pickup •After applying water in •At next mowing mow without buckets if possible2) Liquid Applications •applied through sprayer using a boom or gun •usually light frequent applications •most foliar absorbed 17
  18. 18. 4/13/2012Advantages of foliar feeding: • Reduces leaching • Reduces total amount of fert. Require • Quick plant response • The applicator is in control-reduces surges if weather conditions change ie. IBDU • Full range of products applied at once I.e. Pana sea® and Pro Sol®! • Mix with pesticides • No irrigation needed • Uniform CoverageDisadvantage-Short lived need frequentapplications Spreader CalibrationWith granular fertilizers, initial settings on bags.Set spreader at setting listed-This is the starting Thispoint. Then:1) Measure and mark out a known area (say 100’)2) Place a weighed amount of fertilizer in thespreader3) Start walking and open hopper at start line andclose hopper at finish line.4) Pour material left into bucket and weigh5) Solve Equation 18
  19. 19. 4/13/2012 Initial wt.-remaining wt. __X___ = 100 x width of throw 1,000sq’ Adjust spreader accordingly up or down Example: measured area = 100’ Width of throw = 8’ Starting weight = 10 lbs. Finish weight = 5lbs. 800 sq. feet 8’ 100’Calibration continued:Example: measured area = 100’ Width of throw = 8’ Starting weight = 10lbs. Finish weight = 5lbs 10 - 5 = X 5 = x 100 x 8 1000 800 1000 800x = 5,000 X = 6.25 lbs. Fert./1000sq.’There are other methods to calibrate ie. kitsare available to attach to spreadersSome pointers I recommend when calibrating a) Calibrate on hard surface???? b) The applicator should be the person walking the measured area c) Cut rates in half and go in two directions. d) Check amounts distributed to the size of areas. i.e. green size 5,000sq’ 19
  20. 20. 4/13/2012 W.C.C. PracticesFairways- •Late spring-with a polycoated nitrogen source 50% polyon 50%urea. A 20-5-20 at rate of 1.25lbs./1000sq’. •Late Sept.- 50% SCU and 50%urea 20-5-20 at rate of .75lbs/1000sq’ •Last Mowing- 50% SCU 50%urea 20-5-20 at rate of 1.00lbs./1000sq’ •Soluble used when sprayingRoughs and surrounds- Granular applications spring and fallTees-Granular Fertilizer at the rate of .5-.75 lbs./1000 /monthMaterials used are either coated or methylene ureasIron as well as seaweed extracts often added tospray tankGreens-Granulars in the spring and fall total 1.5lbs./yr1/8 lb. foliar every 10-14 days throughout growingseasonOrganics, Fe, added to spray mix 20